2020 Presidential Election Prediction

Happy Election Day!

Perhaps you read Jerry’s Voting Decision Tree for the Uninformed Voter and took it to heart. If so, you probably didn’t vote or will not for President, unless you live in one of these states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, parts of Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, parts of Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, or Wisconsin.

These are the states considered “Toss Ups” by Real Clear Politics. If all the “Likely” and “Leans” states vote according to the RCP Electoral Map, that puts Biden in the lead 216 to 125 right off the bat.

My methodology for these predictions is based on a few factors, none of which is purely quantitative. For example when analyzing the race in individual states, I tend to favor polls sponsored or conducted by local organizations. I also eliminate anything conducted by Ipsos/Reuters (there is a story here, perhaps another day). Corroborating evidence is also very important, so where applicable, the race for US Senate can be quite informative. Finally, the last thing I’ll rely on is what I’ll call external factors. Court rulings regarding ballot issues, news reports of voter fraud, the political party of the state’s Secretary of State, and the partisan makeup of state legislatures. Please note that local voter fraud is rarely reported in the mainstream national news. Many of the things I reference will be from alternative media and local news organizations. Because I live in Texas, let’s start there.

Texas

The RCP average puts Trump at +1.2%. I think that might be low. The polls most recently conducted by Texas-based organizations puts Trump closer to +6% and when you consider the US Senate race which is +7% for the Republican candidate, I think Biden would be hard pressed to win in Texas, despite the alleged fraud going on in Harris County (Houston).

Winner: TRUMP +38 Electoral College votes

Biden 216 – Trump 163

Florida

The RCP average puts Biden ahead by +1.7% The last four polls in Florida are all non-local polls. The local polls actually have Biden up by 0.8%. That’s virtually a tie in polling terms. But Florida has a Republican Secretary of State, and Republicans have made significant gains in voter registrations since 2016 when Democrats had 330,000 advantage which is now around 180,000.

Winner: TRUMP +29 Electoral College votes

Biden 216 – Trump 192

Pennsylvania

This one is hard. The RCP average puts Biden ahead by 2.9%. There are no recent locally sponsored presidential polls in Pennsylvania. And there is no Senate race in Pennsylvania this year or any other statewide race. The Secretary of State is a Democrat. Yet Republicans have been closing the gap on voter registrations since 2016. Add to this riots in Philadelphia and a recent Supreme Court decision, and this one is going to be much closer than the polls suggest, perhaps less than 1% margin when it’s all over. We may even see an election night lead by Trump, but once the mail-in votes are counted (or not counted):

Winner: BIDEN +20 Electoral College votes

Biden 236 – Trump 192

Ohio

Another difficult one to predict. The RCP average has Trump up by 1.4% and has been rising recently. There are no recent locally sponsored presidential polls in Ohio. And there is no Senate race in Ohio this year or any other statewide race. The Secretary of State is a Republican. On top of that, Ohio’s mail-in voting procedures are more conservative.

Winner: TRUMP +18 Electoral College votes

Biden 236 – Trump 210

Georgia

Another close one. The RCP average has Trump up by 0.2%, but the last three polls, including a local poll, would indicate a Trump advantage just over 2%. This year, Georgia has two Senate races due to a special election for one of the seats. The special election may be a bit more informative here. Republican candidates have a cumulative lead over the Democrat candidates by 8%.

Winner: Trump +16 Electoral College votes

Biden 236 – Trump 226

Michigan

Michigan recently moved to a “toss-up” after “Leaning Democrat.” The RCP average has Biden up by 5.1% but has been losing ground on Trump recently. In fact the most recent poll listed on the Real Clear Politics website showed a small Trump advantage. COVID-19 will play a huge part in how the election plays out; there is a lot of angst in the state about the business and government shutdowns imposed by the governor. Also, please consider that the Republican candidate is an African-American man. Mail-in ballots must be received by election day to be counted. There is a concern that ballots mailed in may arrive too late. This state could go either way, but I think this is a state Trump could win.

Winner: Trump +16 Electoral College votes

Biden 236 – Trump 242

North Carolina

I recently placed a bet on the online prediction market, Predictit.org that North Carolina would have the smallest percentage margin for the winner. That outcome has gone up 33% since I placed the bet. Current RCP averages put the race at 0.5% margin for Trump. But recent developments may make this a losing bet for me. I still believe the race will be close, just not as close as one of the other states on this list. The Senate race in North Carolina is also very close, about a 2% advantage for the Democrat. Add to that the crucial executive state government positions (governor and Secretary of State) are held by Democrats and I think Biden has the advantage.

Winner: Biden +15 Electoral College votes

Biden 251 – Trump 242

Arizona

The poll average for Arizona is essentially a tie, Biden favored by 0.5%. But the polls I put most faith in have Trump up by over 3%. And then there is the excitement factor.

From what I understand, this was organized locally and not by the Trump campaign. Just last week I would have said this state favors Biden, but not anymore.

Arizona Winner: Trump +11 Electoral College votes

Biden 251 – Trump 253

Wisconsin

The poll average in Wisconsin favors Biden by 6.6%. In 2016, Trump beat the poll projections in Wisconsin by 7.2%. Also in Wisconsin is a race for Governor. Apparently the Democrat candidate for Governor is an embarrassment to his party. The problem it seems is the Kenosha riots. You remember? Does the name Kyle Rittenhouse ring a bell? Add to all this that the Supreme Court will not allow the state to extend its deadline for receiving ballots and we get, in my view, a Trump win

Winner: Trump +10 Electoral College votes

Biden 251 – Trump 263

Minnesota

Minnesota hasn’t voted for a Republican for President since 1972. I don’t think this year will be any different. But it will be VERY close. This is the state I should have placed my bet on as having the smallest margin of victory. The Senate race has a margin of 3%, which is within the margin of error. The riots earlier in the year in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The accusations of illegal vote harvesting in Rep Ilhan Omar’s district, a federal court ruling that all mail in ballots had to be counted by election day and Keith Ellison actually capping attendance at Trump’s rally in Rochester will all play into the results here. There is a lot going on in Minnesota. It’s going to be close; the winner will probably be chosen by the courts.

Winner: Biden +10 Electoral College votes

Biden 261 – Trump 263

Iowa

Trump has the advantage in the polls in Iowa with a 2% advantage. Importantly the Des Moines Register poll has him up by 7%. The Sanate race also seems to be moving toward Joni Ernst, the Republican.

Winner: Trump +6 Electoral College votes

Biden 261 – Trump 269

Nevada

Nevada is going to be one of those nail-biter states. Polls are running pretty close to even with the Real Clear Politics poll average at Biden +2%. There are no other statewide races this year in Nevada to gauge those polls, but the Democrats seem to always punch above their weight in the state. It probably has a lot to do with casino workers in Las Vegas.

Winner: Biden +6 Electoral College votes

Biden 267 – Trump 269

Nebraska/Maine

Maine and Nebraska allocate their Electoral College votes based on the winners of the individual Congressional Districts. Maine as a whole will go for Biden, but CD-2 has always been a bit more Republican. In the Senate race, Susan Collins has a hefty lead in CD-2, but the House race is heavily favoring the Democrat. I think Biden will likely win all of Maine’s electoral votes.

There is not a lot of polling going on in Nebraska. That’s probably because everyone knows Trump will win the state as a whole, but CD-2 has a couple of polls showing Biden with the lead around 4.5%. Given what’s going on in Nebraska; a Republican executive branch and a strong Republican likelihood to hold the Senate seat, I think Trump wins the Nebraska CD-2 delegate.

Biden 268 – Trump 270